The Importance of Support
What do you need in your life? About 70 years ago, a psychologist named Abraham Maslow set out to answer that question. What he arrived at was list of requirements that everyone needs in order to stay alive, be happy and live a life of the highest quality. Maslow called it the hierarchy of needs, and it includes everything from concrete necessities to complex notions.
The first needs include what is desired for sustaining life like food, water and oxygen. The second level contains shelter, livable temperatures and other items related to safety and security. Similar to the first level, this level involves elements of survival. It becomes more difficult to survive if your security is constantly threatened by weather or an outside force.
The third level is love. It involves elements of acceptance, belonging and being connected to others and the world around you. Friends, family, coworkers, church members and others all make up the supports in your life. You can survive without supports, but life will feel less complete and satisfying.
When you have a chronic medical condition, like psoriasis, supports become even more essential. Psoriasis often leaves sufferers feeling alone, isolated, depressed and anxious. In these circumstances, they turn inwards and miss the benefits associated with multiple supports. Choose to fight against negative trends and make socialization a bigger part of your life.
Life is about having opportunities. Opportunities allow you to grow and change in your process of becoming a more complete person. Social supports provide you with endless opportunities to change the way you think and feel. Socialization can:
Decrease Isolation and Loneliness
Being cut off from the world around you is a negative aspect in anyone’s life. People need to be around other people, with very few exceptions.
There is a myth that only weak or inferior people “need” others. This could not be further from the truth. Do not fool yourself into believing that your life is better because of isolation. Strong people are ones that can admit that being alone is less fun than being with others.
Increase Feelings of Belonging and Connectedness
If being alone is a negative, being engaged, connected and having a sense of belonging is a big positive. An interesting thing happens when you become more social. Not only do you feel more connected to people around you, you feel more a part of your surroundings including your community, plants and animals in nature and even yourself.
Connectedness is challenging to measure, but if you feel that some aspect of your life is missing or unfulfilled, it could be your level of engagement in the world around you.
Increase Activity and Routine
Once you build connections, you create systems, routines and patterns. Maybe you will go to the same place at the same time every week or you will have monthly gatherings with your contacts. In either case, these routines build structure in your life while giving you something to base other decisions around, to look forward to and create purpose.
Any change in behaviors will lead to a change in thinking and more desirable feelings.